Ityak-Ortheel, commonly called the Elf Eater, is a fictitious creature in the Forgotten Realms setting. It dwells in the Abyss, waiting for the god Malar, the Beastlord, to summon it to Faerûn to destroy life.
The Elf Eater is a thirty-foot-tall monstrosity that stands on three enormous, trunk-like legs. Its flesh is tannish-brown, and its midsection is a flat, round blob of flesh with an extremely hard, domed carapace resting atop it. The midsection is surrounded by forty tentacles, each a hundred feet long and lined by large suckers. Ityak-Ortheel can re-grow severed tentacles and legs. It can also instantly reattach a severed leg by holding it to the stump.
On Ityak-Ortheel’s underside, protruding from between its three legs, is an enormous maw. The maw is toothless and constantly emits a slurping sound, with wet flaps of skin sucking in and out of the darkness within. The mouth is the color of blood and can expand to a great width or extend downward into a long snout similar to that of an anteater. Within the mouth, hard plates of cartilage constantly grind together. Ityak-Ortheel slowly digests the souls of those it devours, keeping it satisfied and tormenting those whom it devoured. This slow digestion lets the Elf Eater go for hundreds or thousands of years without eating.
Although the Elf Eater has no eyes or ears, it can sense all life within a radius of five miles. This sense can discern what kind of life that it is detecting, allowing Ityak-Ortheel to hunt down the elves it so hates.
Ityak-Ortheel was created early in Abeir-Toril’s history. It was spawned from the mingled blood of Gruumsh, the supreme god of the orcs, and Corellon Larethian, the supreme deity of the elves. Ityak-Ortheel came into being in the aftermath of their titanic struggle, and it immediately fled to a deep layer of the Abyss, where it still lives in solitude.
Ityak-Ortheel once relied on other deities and powerful mortals to transport it from the Abyss. Now that Malar favors it as an instrument of terror, the Elf Eater has begun to visit Faerûn at least once per century, where it rampages around elf communities.
As a result of Ityak-Ortheel’s tendency for terrorizing elves, the elves built a portal known as Fey-Alamtine on the isle of Gwynneth in the Moonshae Isles. This portal in the kingdom of Synnoria could be accessed by anyone with a platinum Alamtine triangle; every elf community on Faerûn was given one such triangle. When the Elf Eater attacked, entire elven villages and tribes would retreat to the Moonshaes, often going on to Evermeet from there. This plan worked for centuries; however, in 1365 DR (the Year of the Sword), Malar divined the location of the elves’ portal and with the help of Talos the Destroyer sent Ityak-Ortheel through the portal, permanently destroying it. Thus, the Elf Eater rampaged across Gwynneth, the capital city of Chysalis, and the ancient Palace of Ages (Argen-Tellirynd) before being banished back to the Abyss by the human princess Alicia Kendrick of the Ffolk.
Ityak-Ortheel has not returned to Faerûn since its rampage across the island of Gwynneth, but with the reemergence of elves on the continent, some believe another rampage is imminent.
A group of Malarites in the Forgotten Forest west of Evereska came across one of the Alamtine triangles that their god used to track down the portal of Fey-Alamtine. They do not understand the triangle’s significance and treat it as a holy relic, although it has lost all of its power. The Malarites are led by a cruel half-elf werewolf named Tagress. They worship the triangle and offer it blood sacrifices at least four times every moon cycle, hoping to summon Ityak-Ortheel so that it may destroy the lands of Evereska and its people.
The group feverishly works to find out how the triangle is related to the summoning of Ityak-Ortheel. They kidnap mages and other masters of lore, torture information out of them, and then sacrifice them to the relic.
In response to the group’s plots, elven leaders have launched a war against the followers of Malar. The Malarites are waging their own war against the elves in retaliation.
- “Bane of the Gods: The Elder Eternal Evils of the Forgotten Realms” — article written by Thomas M. Costa at the official Forgotten Realms website
- “Ityak-Ortheel, the Elf-Eater” by Wayne England